Expert's Opinion

A Hairdresser Speaks Out

By David Lopez, Hairstylist | September 29, 2011

David Lopez on what's wrong (and right) about beauty products.

What makes for healthy hair or skin? An amazing diet!!! It pretty much goes without saying that whatever you consume reflects on your outward appearance. Almost all of naturally glowing clients with the thick heads have one thing in common aside from amazing genetics. They lead a nutritious lifestyle and drink a lot of water.

When it comes to hair it's not always easy with the environmental stressors hair is put under on top of daily styling routines women (and now more men) subject their most visible accessory to. I always recommend a replenishing conditioner for daily use and a hair mask at least monthly, bi monthly or weekly depending on the integrity of the hair. I especially love Amika's Obliphica Nourishing Hair Mask. It has the right amount of moisture balanced with natural proteins for strength. Moisture is key whether it's your skin or your hair.

Unfortunately, there are ingredients that damage hair or skin. What's more, a lot of beauty products today tend to "band-aid" the problem rather than fixing it. They're loaded with heavy silicones that coat the surface of skin and hair. I always use the car wax analogy—sure, after waxing with layers of a silicone product the car surface is shiny and looks new; however, what happens when you throw water on it? It repels it! The same thing with hair and skin, silicones clog up our pores and hair follicles not allowing moisture to penetrate at a molecular level. All you need is a day at the pool or beach in the sun for all the silicones to be stripped away to see what it has truly done to your hair.

But there are new ingredients out there that show promise. I'm really excited about beauty companies incorporating real moisturizers into their products and natural oils making a resurgence in the market. They've combined these with water soluble "-cone" ingredients that won't build up on the hair and allow for maximum absorption of moisture for skin and hair.

Argan oil is definitely a buzz ingredient right now but be wary that it isn't watered down, perfumed up and loaded with silicone. I'm loving a hair oil from Amika aptly titled "Pure Oil". They've incorporated argan oil with it's main ingredient- oil from the Sea Buckthorn Berry. Oil from this tiny berry has been used for centuries in the arid siberian steep as a natural moisturizer for hair and skin and loaded an incredible amount of vitamins and antioxidents!

But more work needs to be done. I'm really looking forward to the beauty industry exploring more natural ingredients that benefit hair and skin in the long run. Now, show me a good hairspray that's flexible and gentle on the environment and I'd be a very happy hairdresser.

About the Author
David Lopez is a top session and celebrity hair stylist based out of New York City. Born in Brooklyn, New York and raised in a military family, David Lopez moved from one exotic location to another, living in Puerto Rico, Italy and Germany. This experience opened up a whole new world for David, as he learned at an early age to appreciate the beauty of different cultures and hair types. Upon returning to the States, David followed his passions back to New York City where after finishing film school he was trained in the French Technique of hair cutting and was educated by Aveda, Goldwell, Redken and Wella.

He started gaining industry experience working as a hairstylist in New York City's top salons opening up the way for work at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week and today's top magazine publications. It wasn't long before he started creating buzz through his glamorous styling and "hair makeovers." Equally comfortable in front of the camera as he is behind the scenes, David also provides commentary on today's hottest styles and dishing out style secrets on a variety of media outlets including: Warner Brothers, Celebrity Blogs,, Essence, WWD, as well as filming tutorial videos for various hair brands. Traveling all over the country David is known on set as being creative and always enthusiastic with an infectious passion for innovation.

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